When carrying out my second year placement, I was placed in a three-form entry school. Within the year group I had been place, planning was shared and one topic was planned by each teacher, each term. During my practice I planned for Maths. A strategy introduced from the teachers at this school involved using pre-tests to inform planning and grouping of ability groups.
The day before PPA the children would complete a specialised pre-test for the topic they would be studying the following week. Each child would have the same test, and the same amount to complete this in test conditions. They would self-mark their test, allowing them to notice the areas they were weaker within. The following day, during PPA, whilst planning these pre-tests would be groups into ability groups. This differed week-on-week, as all children were stronger in various parts of the subject. Activities were then selected appropriately to support learning of pupils. Attached below is a basic pre-test used during practice.
Using and adapting pre-tests to inform planning and support identification of ability groups was an effective strategy; it highlighted the areas children were stronger and weaker in. Furthermore, using these allowed for appropriate and effective differentiation to meet all needs of the learners. As children marked their own tests, they were able to reflect upon their own knowledge and identify the areas that they needed extra support within. One disadvantage of this was that all children had the same test, regarding that there were a wide range of abilities within the group. One target from this would be to ensure that pre-tests were created for different ability groups.